She was a beautiful, young Irish maid, working in a wealthy English household. Her employer’s oldest son fell in love with her. When he announced intentions to marry her, his parents said they would disown him. He married her anyway. Then, bride and groom ran away to live happily ever after. “Her name was Mary Cordial,” my maternal grandmother Marilyn Matilda Dietz told me, that distinct glimmer of pleasure in her eyes—the one she always had when she retold this story. “And you are her legacy.”

This blog is a resource for those who want to--have to--find out more about who they came from.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Armchair Genealogy?

You’re probably wondering why I chose to name this blog “The Armchair Genealogist.” It would seem a derogatory term, considering the fact that those who opine on people’s psychological situations are referred to as armchair psychiatrists. I don’t mean it that way at all.

In my way of thinking, an Armchair Genealogist is a person who wants to find out more about who they come from and how they came to be wherever it is they may be. Armchair genealogists don’t hold certificates in genealogy…yet. They research online, subscribe to vital records sites and make pilgrimages to libraries both near and far. They share information with others. They are utterly addicted to their search for family, which for many is a lifelong quest.

I’d like to hear your best story about a genealogical find. What was it? Where was it? How did you find it? How did it rock your world? What new questions did it raise? Email me at, and you might see your tale posted here.

I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.